Thailand Tips #6: Soi Dogs

Soi dogs, the dogs that don’t have a home – but that were picked up when they were little by Thais that thought they would always take care of them can be harmless or dangerous.

Most soi dogs are harmless. They bark as you walk by, but that’s all they’ll ever do. They bark to let you know they’re pissed off you’re on their sidewalk and after you pass they shut up. Some follow a short way continuing to bark.

Some soi dogs are more territorial than others. Some dogs will come at you and if you stand your ground – or threaten them by lurching toward them they’ll back off and give you another 10 feet. You wouldn’t want to do that with a large dog or a German shephard or Rottweiler soi dog but for any dog you think you could destroy with a couple kicks you might want to try that.

One thing that works well for most dogs is to start looking for a stick. They understand sticks and rocks hurt so when you pick something up off the ground they may turn and run fast away from you. After you throw a few rocks you’ll get some space between you and the dog. More space if you’re a good aim.

One thing you shouldn’t do when a dog is barking at you in Thailand is to turn your back on it and walk away… I know more than one visitor that has had her butt chewed like that. Face them and walk backwards away slowly if you don’t want to find a stick or rock.

I’ve cleared out a pack of 7 dogs by throwing rocks at them and then finding a stick to swing through the air. Most dogs have been kicked, hit with sticks and rocks and don’t want to repeat the experience. If you’re walking around Thailand you’ll deal with soi dogs. How you deal with them is up to you – but, threats usually work. For big dogs I’d just walk slowly (backward) the way I came.

Good luck!

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Author: Vern

I'm an American expat living in Thailand. I like to write informative pieces about life in, living in Thailand, including topics like: Thai People, Thai Culture, Nightlife, Technology, and I have published a lot of photographs, videos, and even books on Thailand that you can find at There are many photographs of Thailand here - feel free to share with attribution (a link back to the home page). All written content on this site by Vern Lovic. Contact me at Google+.